20 something Rogers Park resident Jennifer Rottner contacted Oy!Chicago about a month ago to suggest we profile her father, Deputy Chief Chicago Police Officer Bruce Rottner, for A JYSK. We think he’s a really cool dad and you’ll be reading more about him in the coming weeks. (Jennifer will be writing a tribute to him for our Father’s Day issue.) But we quickly realized that the real Jew You Should Know is Jennifer!
Jennifer is the scheduling & advance coordinator for the Governor of Illinois, which means she’s responsible for planning the logistics behind all of his public events. Jennifer has been at the job for three years, and if you’re familiar with the goings-on of the governor’s office, and haven’t been living under a rock, you’d know that means she worked for former Governor turned indicted politician and reality show wannabe Rod Blagojevich. Jennifer survived the transition and now happily works for Governor Quinn.
Jennifer describes herself as a gym obsessed foodie who enjoys staying home “watching murder-mystery documentaries on MSNBC or TruTV” just as much as she enjoys girls’ night out. She sports several kabbalah related tattoos and has a penchant for target practice. So if you’re super close to your family, always carry two blackberries and consider yourself a “rebel Jew,” then Jennifer Rottner is a Jew you should know!
1. What is your favorite blog or website?
I read CNN.com religiously every morning, followed by Dlisted.com (my all-time favorite celeb blog). I am just as interested in President Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court as I am about which pop star was arrested in the last 24 hours. I like to think it keeps me balanced.
2. If time and money were limitless, where would you travel?
Everywhere! I love to travel and although I’ve been to a handful of amazing places, I am far from being “well traveled”. I’ve never been to Europe or South America, so those are a top priority. I’d also love to spend some time in South Africa and Australia.
3. If a movie was made about your life, who would play you?
Although I’m clearly not blonde, I’d say Kate Hudson. She is funny, quirky, and witty and a few of my friends say we have similar mannerisms and even look alike at times. I think she’s beautiful, so if they say so, I may as well agree!
4. If you could have a meal with any two people, living or dead, famous or not, who would they be? Where would you eat or what would you serve?
First, I’d say John F. Kennedy. I am oddly fascinated by the Kennedy family, especially the assassination of JFK (and the conspiracy behind it…I have my own theory). Then I’d say my grandmother, because she was my best friend and one of the most kind-hearted, warm, intelligent and loving people I have ever known. Ideally, I’d like to go to Rockit, because I could eat their turkey burger and truffle fries on a daily basis…but my grandmother would probably insist on cooking, so I’d say we’d eat potato pancakes and chocolate bundt cake at her house!
5. What’s your idea of the perfect day?
It would be 78 degrees, sunny and no humidity. I’d wake up around 9am, head to the gym for an hour and then get the biggest cup of coffee Intellegentsia has to offer. I’d spend the day doing all the things I can never get done during the week (maybe throw in a mani/pedi for good measure). Then I’d meet my girls for a drink, before meeting my boyfriend at Table 52 for macaroni and cheese and Hummingbird Cake.
6. What do you love about what you do?
I love that my job has allowed me to meet and interact with some truly incredible people. I met Sgt. Daniel Casara two years ago at an event with the Governor, a solider who served in Iraq and was critically injured after his armored carrier rolled over an IED. He now dedicates himself to helping other veterans coming back from the war recover and get back to their everyday lives. I met Donna Marquez about a month ago at another event the Governor attended. Her brother Donald, a Chicago Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty in 2002. As a result, her family helped to open the Donald J. Marquez C School in his memory, which not only offers law enforcement classes but was also honored with one of 31 Gold LEED certifications in the country.
Those are just a few of the people I’ve encountered doing this job and there are so many others who have touched me and stay with me everyday…making me feel very fortunate to do the work that I do.
7. What job would you have had if not the one you have now?
I would have loved to do something in fashion. Working as a stylist or as a fashion editor for a magazine, I just love everything about the industry. This could explain my slight shopping addiction…
8. What’s your favorite Jewish thing to do in Chicago?
I’d say the Lox & Bagel Shoot. My father is very involved in the Shomrim Society (fraternal organization of Jewish Law Enforcement Officers in Chicago). Every April, they host an event called the Lox & Bagel Shoot at the Chicago Police Academy, which is a brunch, followed by a shooting competition. I don’t think anything is more Jewish or Chicago than eating lox and bagels at the Chicago Police Academy while testing out your skills at the range!